Thursday, July 21, 2011

Letter from Lyme Country

If anyone's still out there, I apologize for the long silences here. Most of my writing energy has been taken up with my Patch job, which, if you're interested, you can read here.

At the beginning of the summer, my running had been going well. I was starting to incorporate a little (very little) speed work and more hill work. I signed up for Escarpment, a tough 18-miler in the Catskills, somewhat legendary among east coast trail runners for its technical difficulty. I also signed up for a timed 12-hour run in Massachusetts on Aug 13th.

And then a couple of weeks ago, I started feeling poorly. No energy, weeklong headache, fever. I figured I must have picked up some sort of virus. After almost a week of this, I finally got a Lyme test, which came back rip-roaring positive. Alas.

I've been on the doxycyclene for about 10 days and I'm feeling much better, but I get so tired. I can run for about an hour every other day right now. Escarpment is in a week and a half. We'll see....

All of that bad news aside, we are having a great summer here in Connecticut. Brian and I (mostly Brian) built a chicken coop which we are planning to fill with possibly illegal chickens (shhhh) at the end of the summer, and we are now starting on a ambitious deck project which is well underway.

Here I am digging the footings. BWWWAAAAA haaa haaaaaa!!!!

It's kind of amazing how much time there is in the day when you're not constantly filling your free hours with running. Because this kids are bigger this year and so much less in need of my undivided attention, I have been doing lots of reading this summer. I'm making my way through Doris Kearns Goodwin's Lincoln biography, Team of Rivals, interspersed with some good novels: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, a bunch of Alice Munro short stories, and a little bit of Hesse's Magic Mountain.

I feel my eyes starting to go. This is the first year I feel kind of old. I might need to invest in a pair of those little rectangular reading glasses you see in the drugstores.

It is a great year for the garden. I'm going to run outside right now and take a picture of my lovely vegetables for you.

And finally, after hatching two sets of incubated duckling eggs for the local farm we volunteer at last spring, I agreed to let the kids keep the last batch, so in addition to everything else going on here, we are raising three Indian Runner ducks that hatched in our own living room about three months ago.

And here they are now: Scooter, Cheepers and Smiley.

We got home from a lovely evening at the beach last night and Nell (who adores the ducks almost more than life itself) went out back to put them into their house for the night. I was just walking in the front door, loaded down with bags of wet towels, when I heard her yelling, "I can't find them! Mom!! I can't find them!"

Panic. Sobbing. The child never cries.

I am really not emotionally equipped to deal with this sort of thing.

We all started looking for them. Brian headed into the woods, I ran down the driveway and the kids more or less stood in the yard crying and yelling, "Cheepers! Smiley! Scooter!" until I thought my heart would break.

Suffice it to say that twenty minutes (i.e., an eternity) later, just as it was starting to get dark, Brian found them in a neighbor's yard snuffing under the bushes looking for bugs. He said he heard them quacking from the street.

Never was I so happy to see those three bobbing heads following Nell back to our yard.

As I am learning this summer, you really can have a lifetime of experiences right in your own backyard.


  1. I simply love this post :)

    Except for the Lyme encounter, how scary! I am very glad you are on the mend. Reminds me I need to be checking for ticks after playing in the woods, yikes!

  2. Thanks, Paige! I wish I had more running news to report. Stay tuned, I guess.

    Watch out for the ticks. I think I got more than just Lyme from my little invader. They carry quite a cocktail of diseases, and they're no longer contained just to our little neck of the woods.

  3. Oh a chicken coop! I'm so jealous! (I promise I won't breathe a word about the chickens.) I've been trying to convince Andrew of the brilliance of chickens for years now. He's finally onboard, but still, chicken coop is just on The List - you know, the one where you check off one thing but add three more. Right now at the top of The List is "Deal with giant felled pine trees in backyard" and "Stain salvaged siding for possible future use before it gets totally warped in the sun." "Build chicken coop" is not near the top, I'm afraid.


    AND you have ducks and a beautiful garden. Is every place in Connecticut like this? Because according to blogger-land, it is.

    Sorry about the Lyme's. Yucky! Hope all is well and that you were able to run Escarpment.

    I am also working on the "backyard experiences" this summer. It's the budget way to adventure! :)

  4. Gretchen! Yes, absolutely everyone in Connecticut has ducks and vegetable gardens and chicken coops. It's just the way it is. We have no mountains here. No lakes to speak of. Just vegetable gardens and ducks. As far as the eye can see. (Seriously, I'd much rather have your mountains.....)


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